ADDIS ABABA. — The African Union and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to co-operate on major infrastructure networks and industrialisation process in Africa.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, and Mr Zhang Ming, Special Envoy and Vice Foreign Minister of China, have signed the MoU on continental transport, high speed railway, aviation, road highways as well as on industrialisation.
The signing ceremony took place on Tuesday at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the 24th AU summit which kicked off on Friday with the 29th session of the AU permanent representatives committee (PRC).
The MoU is within the framework of the AU’s Agenda 2063 with a view to accelerating continental integration of Africa, according to the AU.
The two sides inked the deal based on and following the discussion between Dr Dlamini-Zuma and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the Premier’s visit to the AU Headquarters last year.
“We discussed that we need to co-operate with the People’s Republic of China in a number of areas at the continental level, mainly around the infrastructure sector,” said the AU Commission chairperson.
Hailing the MoU as an important document, Dr Dlamini Zuma said Africans have a dream of having a prosperous, united, and peaceful Africa driven by its citizens.
She further revealed that teams and sub-committees have already been set up to deal with detailed issues of the co-operation between the two sides in those areas.
Each sector has a team with a sub-committee to work on details of projects such as starting point, costs, and means of funding among others, according to the chairperson.
Speaking on China-Africa relations, she said that China and Africa have been enjoying long-standing and historic relations with ever-growing co-operation.
“This would be the first continental project that Africa and China will be undertaking in all these areas,” she said. “The relationship, particularly the co-operation is taking a different height, a different level, and a different dimension.”
This is grand and very ambitious project but it is also a feasible project, said Zhang Ming.
He said China has rich experience and mature technologies in the areas of high speed railways, highways, aviation and in industrialisation projects. — Xinhua/HR.